Amelia Island Book Festival 2018

95a467_a3e1ddc77c894c63a3b18a6e975fda3c.jpg

I wrote this post while on the plane flying back to glorious Newark, New Jersey.

Something doesn’t seem right about leaving Amelia Island’s beautiful sandy beaches, not to mention the 70-80 degree weather, for the snow-covered, flu stricken east coast.

IMG_6501.JPG

IMG_6503.JPG

I visited the island for the Amelia Island Book Festival. The festival also runs the Authors-in-Schools Program, whereby authors visit selected public schools and the festival purchases a book for each and every student through sales of ticketed events, generous donations, and sponsorship. This year the festival purchased over 11,000 books for students at 16 public schools across Nassau County.

I spent the day at Hilliard Elementary School speaking with second and third graders. The students had incredible questions, and I could hardly contain my glee when one student came up to me and asked if I was going to talk about figurative language.

IMG_6616.JPG

Hilliard Elementary Artwork (Love it!) 

One recurring question at 99% of my school visits is: how old are you? Not sure why this is so important, but I used to give the students the answer. Now I make them do the math. And this was one of the best parts of my visit to Hilliard: one of the second graders got the right answer. It was a first!

And speaking of age, the Amelia Island Book Festival happened to fall on my birthday this year. I could not think of a more wonderful way to celebrate it than with books and literary friends.

Here are a few photographic highlights:

IMG_6516.JPG

Check out the lovely birthday balloon from Nancy Viau! 

IMG_6506.JPG

And this was the most delicious chocolate cupcake!

Thank you Nancy Viau for making my birthday so special. 

IMG_6559.JPG

Nancy Viau 

IMG_6527

Evelyne Holingue, Jennifer Swanson and Heather Macht

IMG_6554.JPG

Eileen Meyer

IMG_6552.JPG

Linda Seymour Carr and me 

IMG_6556.JPG

Mike Maihack

I’d like to shout out a HUGE thank you to Danna Crump, librarian extraordinaire at Hilliard Elementary School for making me feel so welcome. Hilliard Elementary School is a very special place and I’m thrilled to have had a chance to visit with their students. I’d also like to thank the festival organizers, volunteers, and the terrific group of authors and illustrators that I met. I can hardly wait for next year’s festival.

 

Advertisements

Cover Reveal: No Peacocks!

I am thrilled beyond words to share the cover for No Peacocks! (Sky Pony Press) illustrated by the amazing Chris Ewald. Drum roll, please!

FINALNP_Cover_full.jpg

No Peacocks! is a fictional feathered tale about the three real-life mischievous peacocks who reside on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Let me introduce you:

This is Phil.

IMG_3785.JPG

This is Jim or Harry.

IMG_4492.JPG

Or Harry or Jim.

1559665_1420039878255453_1144157692_n.jpg

(I can’t tell the difference between Jim or Harry but if you ask any of the children, they all know which bird is which.)

For five years, my son attended The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. And from the moment I saw the birds, I knew I wanted to write about them. There was just one problem. I needed a story. On one extremely fortunate day while I was attending a meeting for the school’s book fair, one of the school administrators came into the room asking if anyone had left a sandwich in a stroller because one of the peacocks ate it. And as soon as I heard that, I knew I had my story.

No Peacocks! is about Phil, Jim and Harry’s quest to taste the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese. It’s a cheesy story of friendship and teamwork, with a mild sprinkling of criminal activity that’s perfect for influencing the impressionable minds of children ages 0 to 1000. It flies onto bookshelves September 2018.

I’d like to take a quick moment to thank my editor, Alison Weiss; my agents, Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris-Dontzin; my writing teacher, Jill Davis; my writing group, Jacki Morris and Joanne French; my husband, Michael, who has probably read this story more times than he would have liked; my son, Noah, for the tremendous joy he brings my husband and me every day—even during homework; and anyone else who so much as sneezed on my manuscript.

No Peacocks! is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at your favorite independent bookstore.

 

 

 

Celebrating #WRAD18 @KidLit TV

 

A conversation between me and one of my favorite blog readers:

Me: My sincere apologies for being a little late to the party.

Blog reader: Didn’t World Read Aloud Day ’18 happen last week on February 1st?

Me: It did. I had the best of intentions of doing a blog post last week but I got a tad bogged down with rewrites. And then I found myself complaining about the rewrites that needed rewrites. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Blog reader: You are quite gifted in the complaining department.

Me: Thank you! Everyone needs a talent. In any event, in spite of my lateness, I had a blast celebrating World Read Aloud Day ’18 at KidLit TV and I wanted to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to Julie GribbleRocco Staino, and the entire KidLit TV crew for making the day extra special. And if you want to know how very special that day was take a look at this:

Help make World Read Aloud Day an every day event!

Spring 2018 Mini-Conference at Bank Street

Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature

The Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street is thrilled to announce:

A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities, March 3rd, 9:00 – 1:30 with keynote speaker Duncan Tonatiuh

Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive at W120th and Broadway, 14th Floor, Room 1402

A conference for English and Spanish Speaking librarians, elementary teachers, parents and caregivers who want to grow their repertoire and knowledge of these genres and better serve their communities.

 

Duncan Tonatiuh_author photo_Miles Vidor

 Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is the author-illustrator of Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México (Abrams 2017) as well as other works. His books have received numerous awards including the Pura Belpré Medal.

Program Schedule

For Adults

Cost: $50.00

Register 

9:00 – 9:30

Registration, light breakfast and coffee

9:30 – 9:35

Welcome

Cynthia Weill, Director, Center for Children’s Literature

Bank Street College of Education

9:35 – 9:45

Opening Remarks

Emma Otheguy, New York University

View original post 278 more words

By rnewman504